THREE CHEERS FOR THE FLAG
By Fannie True
“Elijah D. Jenkins, of Henry County, Ill., was shot
at Cotton Plant. The Company to which he
belonged attempted to take him with them,
although in a dying state. They stopped
at a house on the road and carried him in.
He grew pale, stared wildly around, and said to
his comrades — “Raise me up boys, I want
to give three cheers for the old flag !” and instantly
Raise me up, comrades, one moment I ask,
Raise me up, where I can see
Once more the old banner, our country’s pride –
The glorious flag of the free.
Lift me up, boys, never mind the dark wound,
‘Tis a soldier’s death I shall die,
My soul is ablaze with a patriot fire,
At the rallying battle cry.
Raise me up, boys, ere my strength ebbs away,
I fear not the palsy of death,
But I give for our nation’s grand old flag
Three cheers with my dying breath!
The bright eyes were closed, and the brave
That crushed back all weakness and pain,
Grew silent and rigid; his stiffened arm
Will shoulder no musket again!
Around him they gathered, those dear, true boys,
Choking down their wild sobs to hear
A murmuring echo the winds have caught
From the breath of that dying cheer.
No longer they listen, ’tis lost to them
In the roar of the battle’s din,
But the shout rings down the glorified ranks
As his hero soul “falls in !”
I chose this poem because it shows a soldier’s deep love for his country and the battle that takes his life. The soldier described in the poem feels so passionately about America, that he wants nothing more than to see the American flag on his death bed. He has accepted the fact that he is dying since it is for the country he loves. This poem best represents the mood of the war because during the Civil War, soldiers were proud to fight for their country. War wasn’t viewed as such a bad thing as it is today. Soldiers were looked up to and sincerely appreciated. To be a soldier, was to be a hero. Men were proud to be soldiers and dying for the U.S. of A. was becoming normal. The soldier in the poem is a great example of a proud warrior. I imagined the soldier as strong and brave, the icon of a soldier in the Civil War.